The crisp air and cooler temperatures signify the arrival of fall in Mt. Hood Territory. Fall also means the summer crowds have left and the trees are changing colors – making it the perfect time to visit. Here are six hikes to get you started.
Pup Creek Falls is a hidden gem in Mt. Hood National Forest along the Clackamas River Trail. This waterfall cascades 240 feet over three different levels. Surrounded by foliage, the colors turn to orange and yellow in the fall.
The Wildwood Recreation day-use area features some of the best fall hikes on Mt. Hood with boardwalks and accessible interpretive trails that travel through forests and wetlands. Salmon return to the Salmon River to spawn during the fall and the Cascade Streamwatch Trail leads visitors to a fish viewing window below the stream level, so you can get an up close and personal view of life under the water.
An extensive network of more than 20 miles of trails can be found in the Molalla River Recreation Area. The trails vary in difficulty for a wide range of trail users, from beginners to experts. The area also provides access to the Table Rock Wilderness. Fun photo op: Offered as a retro convenience, a payphone is located along the route to the area, since it is a bit off the grid with spotty cell reception. (Photo courtesy Bureau of Land Management)
The defining feature of the Table Rock Wilderness area is the remnant of a lava flow that once covered the entire region along the foothills of the Cascades. The “fortress” of Table Rock stands at 4,881 feet and from the top, hikers can see many of the famous peaks throughout Oregon and Washington. (Photo courtesy Bureau of Land Management)
Located in the urban rush, Mount Talbert Nature Park feels a world away. Four miles of trails wander through this forested area. Home to deer, Western gray squirrels and a large variety of birds, you’re sure to spot some critters while visiting. (Photo courtesy Metro)
Mt. Hood Territory has the fourth most Bigfoot sightings in North America. The first documented sighting in Oregon dates back to 1904, so keep your eyes open while hiking in Mt. Hood National Forest. And make sure to stop into the North American Bigfoot Center in Boring, which will open their doors this fall. The museum will include a welcome center, gift shop, interactive displays and a library.